TORONTO, February 22,
2018 — Involuntary
psychiatric hospital admissions have increased steadily from 70.7 per cent of
all psychiatric admissions in 2009 to 77.1 per cent in 2013. In a new study
from the Institute for Clinical
Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the Centre
for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), researchers found nearly
three-quarters of all psychiatric hospital admissions in Ontario are
A psychiatric hospital admission
is involuntary when an individual with mental illness is hospitalized against
his or her will due to a perceived risk to the individual or others. While often necessary to address
safety, involuntary admission is an adverse experience for many patients and,
ideally, should be avoided.
“The issue with involuntary
psychiatric admissions is that they can be disruptive to the patient-provider
relationship and negatively impact the patient’s perception of his or her care
at the time of the admission and afterward,” says Michael
Lebenbaum, lead author of the study and epidemiologist at ICES.
study published today in the British
Journal of Psychiatry Open is
one of the
largest and most comprehensive examinations of involuntary admissions to date.
The study looked at the admission
records for 115,515 patients who had been hospitalized for psychiatric care
from 2009 to 2013 in Ontario. The researchers found:
- A high and increasing prevalence of
involuntary admissions (70.7 per cent in 2009, 77.1 per cent in 2013, 74.1 per
with police contact in the prior week and immigrants both experienced greater
likelihood of being involuntarily admitted.
- 33.6 per
cent (28,726) of individuals who were involuntarily admitted were released
within 72 hours of admission and17.1 per cent transferred to
voluntary status by day three.
“We found that those who had a
mental health visit in the week before admission with either a family doctor or
psychiatrist were less likely to be involuntarily admitted. This indicates to
us that involuntary hospitalization may, to some extent, be an avoidable event
if care provided in the community settings eases the psychiatric crises that lead
to involuntary hospitalization,” says Dr. Paul Kurdyak, co-author of the study,
scientist at ICES and at CAMH.
“Prevalence and Predictors of Involuntary Psychiatric Hospitalizations in
Ontario, Canada: A population-based linked administrative database study,”
was published today in the British
Journal of Psychiatry Open.
Author block: Michael
Lebenbaum, Maria Chiu, Simone Vigod and Paul Kurdyak.
The Institute for Clinical Evaluative
Sciences (ICES) is an independent, non-profit organization that uses
population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of
health care issues. Our unbiased evidence provides measures of health system
performance, a clearer understanding of the shifting health care needs of
Ontarians, and a stimulus for discussion of practical solutions to optimize
scarce resources. ICES knowledge is highly regarded in Canada and abroad, and
is widely used by government, hospitals, planners, and practitioners to make
decisions about care delivery and to develop policy. For the latest
ICES news, follow us on Twitter: @ICESOntario
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest
mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research
centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy
development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected
by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University
of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization
Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit camh.ca or follow
@CAMHnews on Twitter.
For further information please contact:
Media Advisor, ICES
(o) 416-480-4780 or (c) 647-406-5996
Media Relations, CAMH
(416) 595-6015 / firstname.lastname@example.org